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Fascinating home and architect

This is the art deco home designed by Eliel Saarinen, where he lived while President of Cranbrook... read more

Reviewed October 1, 2018
PhoenixRobin
,
Phoenix
Thrilling to behold

We loved our tour of Cranbrook, the Museum, the grounds but especially the Saarinen House. It was... read more

Reviewed May 23, 2017
2013traveler
,
New York City, New York
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Reviewed October 1, 2018

This is the art deco home designed by Eliel Saarinen, where he lived while President of Cranbrook Architecture Department. The tour starts at the Cranbrook Art Museum, which is housed in one of the buildings designed by Saarinen. The docent gives a brief history of the Cranbrook Academy, Eliel Saarinen and his architectural style, then you walk over to the home (about ¼ mile). You get to see several rooms on the lower level (the kitchen is part of a private apartment) and the master bedroom and bath on the upper level and a guest room (pretty much undecorated). The tour is interesting and the home is amazing. Tours are limited, so reserve in advance. The tour price includes admission to the Cranbrook Art Museum. The campus is large and I was a little confused about where to go. Just find the Art Museum, park in the lot adjacent and walk around to the entrance. This isn't appropriate for children because the home and furnishings are museum pieces.

Thank PhoenixRobin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2017

The Saarinen House is the architectural jewel of the beautiful Cranbrook campus. Superb craftsmanship with lots of interesting design elements. Both Saarinen and his wife were expert designers, and the entire house, from the rugs to the furniture to the lighting was custom designed by them. A visit to the house brings the Cranbrook experience full circle.

However, at 75 minutes, the tour is entirely too long. It is a small house, more like an apartment, with cramped spaces. And to be honest, only the downstairs rooms are remarkable. The upstairs bathroom is interesting, but the bedrooms are utilitarian and not worthy of the extended discussion they received.

There is nowhere to sit down, so you're on your feet for the full tour, barefoot except for disposable booties designed to protect the floors and carpets. The tour could have easily been condensed to a half hour or so, but our tour guide prattled on and on about forgettable details of the family's life interspersed with irrelevant personal asides. It was clear that our group members were annoyed and uncomfortable, but the guide was blithely unaware and seemed determined to stretch the tour out as long as possible.

Sadly, the exhausting tour undercut my appreciation for the architecture.

Thank pricelinetraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2017

We loved our tour of Cranbrook, the Museum, the grounds but especially the Saarinen House. It was thrill to be in this home and see the spectacular furniture, fixtures, books, textiles and imagine a life lived in this home and working with all those wonderful artists on the campus.

Thank 2013traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2015

This is generally overlooked, but it's a great place to visit. Saarinen was the architect of the St. Lewis Gateway Arch as well as the JFK Flight Center and several college dorms. It's worth a visit.

3  Thank Benjamin-Blumenstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2015

If you like science spend a day visiting Cranbrook. The bat zone, planetarium and exhibits are all interesting and geared for all ages. Every rock has a story, the Filipino artifacts and The history of us were educational but fun. The NASA exhibit will delight children and adults.

1  Thank sarahsinfo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2015

Renowned Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen's House is one of two historic homes you can tour at Cranbrook. The Saarinen House tour was included in the entry fee for the Cranbrook Art Museum. Since only 20 people are allowed to tour the house at a time, we called and made a reservation ahead of time. The tour lasts about an hour and a half, and begins at the Art Museum, covering both the first and second levels of the house. If you plan right, you can take a tour of both the Saarinen House and the historic Cranbrook House on the same day.

A docent guides you through each room, providing a wealth of information on the Saarinen's and the house itself. The interior is a beautifully designed Art Deco gem from the 1920's. Much of the furnishings were designed Eliel and his wife Loja. Each room of the house had an understated elegance about it. The two that really stood out for their beauty and design was the dining room and adjacent living room. The craftsmanship throughout the home was something to see.

Cranbrook is a beautiful place to explore, there's much to see, including the Cranbrook House & Gardens, as well as the Art and Science museums.

Highly Recommended.

4  Thank StockholmKindaGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2015

Aside from designing Cranbrook Academy of Art, Eliel Saarinen built a home on campus. Tours of the house are one of several extras that can be booked through the Cranbrook Art Museum. Recently restored, the house is a jewel for lovers of good design. http://youtu.be/Afgg9_LANBw

Thank seasonreason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2015

Even locals don't realize the treasure that is Cranbrook. The gardens, house, Art Museum and Science Institute and the grounds are all first rate attractions.

Thank kamabay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2014

My husband and I were excited to see the Saarinen House but even happier that we were allowed to tour the entire house. We have taken house tours elsewhere where part of the house is not accessible. The docent was pleasant and interesting. This is also a bargain when you pay one fee for the house tour and a museum visit.

1  Thank Sharon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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